Seat of the War in Asia. Map of Afghanistan


This map was published in November 1878 by the Office of the Chief of Engineers, U.S. Army, for “the information of the Officers of the U.S. Army.” The title, “Seat of the War in Asia, Map of Afghanistan,” refers to the Second Anglo-Afghan War of 1878−80, which began that month when Great Britain invaded Afghanistan from British India, for the purpose of checking what it perceived as the growth of Russian influence in the country. The map is based on surveys by British and Russian officers, “up to 1875.” Geographic features with military implications, such as key towns, mountains, mountain passes and their heights, and roads are emphasized. The inset map at the lower right places Afghanistan in the context of the wider region stretching from the east coast of Africa to India and western China, and gives distances in miles from London to Madras (present-day Chennai, India), Calcutta (present-day Kolkata), Singapore, and other ports in Asia.

Last updated: September 30, 2016